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Is it normal to get a cycle bump when upgrading to larger tank?


andry6

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I just upgraded from a 29 gallon to a 75 gallon one week ago today. (I still have to post pictures :P )

I took the fish and the filter media/cartridges and transferred them from one tank to the other. (but of course more were added to fill the bigger filters) Even the decorations and glass stones that I used as substrate were transferred.

I did a 50% water change 3 days ago and just tested my water today. I'm showing .25 on my ammonia and 0 for nitrites and nitrates.

When I checked the parameters midway through the week I had 0 ammonia. Today it's there.

Is it normal to have a cycle bump like this? :idont And what would cause it?

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It's OK. Some of the nitrifiers in the old tank were in locations other than the filter -- glass, substrate, plants, ornaments, etc. It will take a few days to replace these.

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Yes. The bacteria colony adjusts itself to the amount of waste available. Now that the waste is more diluted from the larger volume the bacteria will have to adjust and that sometimes causes a cycle bump. If it persists then you may need to look into more ways to pack your filter :)

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I think it's because you haven't posted pics yet. :pp

:rofl3

You can just add a dose of Prime and restless in 24 hours to make sure it's not getting higher or nitrites aren't showing up. I bet they are loving their new tank!!!! :nana

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I think it's because you haven't posted pics yet. :pp

:rofl3

You can just add a dose of Prime and restless in 24 hours to make sure it's not getting higher or nitrites aren't showing up. I bet they are loving their new tank!!!! :nana

I promise I will get the pics up soon :D

And they do really seem to love their new home, but what I find so crazy is that they tend to only hang out in one end of the tank, and that is the end closest to us. The other end of the tank is in the corner of our living room and they swim back there occasionally, but really just hang out and watch us all the time! If we are watching TV, I swear they watch it with us!

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I think it's because you haven't posted pics yet. :pp

:rofl3

You can just add a dose of Prime and restless in 24 hours to make sure it's not getting higher or nitrites aren't showing up. I bet they are loving their new tank!!!! :nana

I promise I will get the pics up soon :D

And they do really seem to love their new home, but what I find so crazy is that they tend to only hang out in one end of the tank, and that is the end closest to us. The other end of the tank is in the corner of our living room and they swim back there occasionally, but really just hang out and watch us all the time! If we are watching TV, I swear they watch it with us!

I love your last two sentences. Made me smile. :)
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My fish get active when I have the tv on. They seem to be watching us watching tv. Or they are waiting for us to take a break from watching tv and to feed them. :)

One thing to consider is if the flow of water is a bit too strong on the side of the tank that they don't hang out often. Just a thought.

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Once when I upgraded, I got a little ammonia and some nitrite for a bit. The media transfer was a kick start, but it wasn't exactly instant cycle. But it was fully cycled quickly. :)

Now, where are those pictures?!!! :theater:

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Ugh...I have ammonia again! It was zero, so I thought the "bump" was over and stopped testing daily. I went to do my weekly WC and tested the water and ammonia was at 2!! No nitrites or nitrates. I immediately did a huge water change - I only left enough water to cover the fish, refilled, retested, still had .25 ammonia so I took out another 25%. (I did all of this Saturday) Today, Monday morning, I have .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. I dosed with Prime.

I am at a loss. I don't understand this at all. :no:

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I wouldn't worry about .25 ammonia. For years, I always had a trace result of ammonia, and someone here asked about it, and several people said they always got that too. I'm sure my tank was cycled, so I'm not sure where it was coming from. :idont:

Are you sure you shook the nitrate test enough? If you had just 2 ppm ammonia at the end of the week, I wonder if the cycle could have been starved. :hmm

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Have you tested your tap? My tap is usually 0, but once in awhile it isn't. :idont

My tap is always 0 across the board, but I did test it just to make sure. It was 0.

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I wouldn't worry about .25 ammonia. For years, I always had a trace result of ammonia, and someone here asked about it, and several people said they always got that too. I'm sure my tank was cycled, so I'm not sure where it was coming from. :idont:

Are you sure you shook the nitrate test enough? If you had just 2 ppm ammonia at the end of the week, I wonder if the cycle could have been starved. :hmm

Yes, I shook it for the appropriate time. I even checked it twice. I'm not sure what you mean by the cycle could have been starved....sorry, I'm still learning

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I mean that the first step in the cycle is ammonia from fish and food waste. If you put small fish in a big tank, I'm wondering if there might not have been enough ammonia to keep the cycle going. I'm just wondering if that's a possibility. :) When I've had cycle bumps, I always try to balance between having enough ammonia or nitrite to feed the beneficial bacteria versus having too much so that the fish are harmed.

Edited by ShawneeRiver
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I just thought of something...usually with my weekly WC, I swish the cartridges from my filters in a bucket of tank water. Last week, I didn't do that. I didn't even touch the filters. Saturday, when I noticed the spike in ammonia and did the huge water change, I took the cartridges out and they were very dark brown and disgusting!

Could the spike in ammonia have been caused by all of the waste buildup in the cartridges? I know that may sound like a really dumb question, but I'm just trying to figure this all out.

Note: both filters have two cartridges each, sponges, floss and ceramic media too...not just cartridges.

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I put them in the new tank Sept. 29.

After one week, on October 6th ammonia was .25ppm.

October 7th, ammonia was 0. (no WC)

October 10th ammonia was still 0. (still no WC)

I have never seen nitrites or nitrates. Ammonia never rose above .25ppm until Saturday (after a week without testing) when I noticed that it was 2ppm. (Since I wasn't seeing any ammonia, I stopped testing so frequently.)

None of this makes sense to me. I transferred everything from the old tank to the new one. Everything seemed to be going well...until Saturday.

How could I have completely lost my cycle?

Oh...I have so much to learn... :(

edited to say that I did do a water change on the 10th AFTER I tested the water and got the 0 for ammonia. Then no water change until the 18th - so in 8 days it went from 0 to 2

Edited by andry6
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If the fish are small and you feed lightly, perhaps it was not enough ammonia to allow the cycle to get established in the new tank. :( Now you need to try to keep an eye on it.

Mods, what is the rule? Don't let ammonia and nitrite together go over 1 ppm?

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I think it's possible the gunky filter had something to to with the ammonia spike.

I don't know how you "starve a cycle", and if you need nitrates to be cycled, all my ponds must be uncycled since none of them have measurable nitrate.

Since your cycle is not yet stable, I suggest you test ammonia and nitrite every day. That way you won't have to do emergency 90% water changes.

Ugh...I have ammonia again! It was zero, so I thought the "bump" was over and stopped testing daily. I went to do my weekly WC and tested the water and ammonia was at 2!! No nitrites or nitrates. I immediately did a huge water change - I only left enough water to cover the fish, refilled, retested, still had .25 ammonia so I took out another 25%. (I did all of this Saturday) Today, Monday morning, I have .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. I dosed with Prime.

I am at a loss. I don't understand this at all. :no:

When you do a 90% water change, ammonia should drop to 1/10 of what it was before, so 2.0 ammonia should be reduced to ~0.25.

What you observed here is that you had essentially no change in ammonia, nitrates, or nitrates in two days. That's good. Dosing with Prime was the appropriate action. If the ammonia was 0.5, I'd have done a 50% water change. Just remember that the ammonia and nitrite inactivation by Prime lasts two days. If the ammonia stays at 0.25, add Prime every two days between water changes.

It's been a week. Give your tank ecosystem a few more weeks to stabilize.

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It is very possible to 'starve' the nitrifying bacteria. Another example of such a situation is algea bloom(green water). The nitrifying bacteria are simply not 'fed' enough or outcompeted for ammonia.

Its best to reseed the filters if you have the chance. I also think you should be carefull when you have fish in, it is difficult to estimate how quickly the nitrifying bacteria will catch up again.

Hope all will be ok soon, keep fish save! :thumb:

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I certainly don't think her bacteria were "starved" of ammonia as it rose to 2. She has 2 decent sized fish in there and 2 smaller ones.

I would do as Sharon suggested. Test daily for ammonia and nitrite. Dose Prime or do WCs as needed. If you want to post your numbers here after testing, we are happy to help guide you. :D

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